Lifting With Feet Offset

anatomy core stability mobility muscle activation Jun 17, 2022

Why does offsetting the feet make the back feel better?⁣



Overhead pressing without active core bracing often leads to an Open Scissor” Position.

This position is when a person is in an anterior pelvic tilt.



This is common in people that have lower cross syndrome (shortened and tight hip flexors and lumbar extensors and lengthened and weak lower abdominals and glutes) combined with a weak diaphragm and core.



This position involves a little more lordosis (low back arch) and may be sensitive giving the feeling of “Pressure or pain”.


Is offset stance a good way to fix this?

I give it a B-…

Yes, it gets you out of a sensitive position, but it’s still PASSIVE.

You are just using some hip flexion to put your hips and low back into a more neutral position.⁣

What else can you do? ⁣

Address MOBILITY impairments.

Stretch and mobilize those tight hip flexors and lumbar extensors that could be causing the open scissor position.

  • Address tight hip flexors (movements to drive hip extension):
    • Couch stretch (for clients with balance constraints)
    • Walking lunges (for clients without balance constraints)
  • Address tight lumbar extensors (movements to strengthen the anterior core)
    • Dead bug (for clients with less core stability)
    • Ab roll out/ab wheel (for clients with more core stability)

Move from PASSIVE to ACTIVE stability. 

Use the Anterior core and glutes to maintain position

This is the best approach, as long as you can still breathe while actively stabilizing.⁣ Diaphragmatic breathing is key to cohesive stabilization.

In summary, these are two great ways to help those that feel their back is "tight" during overhead pressing

  • Address hip flexors
  • Address lumbar extensors

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